Upcoming conference: Renewing the Face of the Earth: The Church and the Order of Creation (St. Paul, MN)

From the St. Paul Seminary School of Divinity (at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota), comes a call for papers (PDF) for their conference, “Renewing the Face of the Earth: The Church and the Order of Creation,” to be held in St. Paul on October 29-31, 2009. Here is the announcement:

And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good.

It would be an understatement to say that the natural environment is a current topic of concern in contemporary culture. And yet, though many may share in the concern, little work has been done to arrive at a common framework for considering possible solutions.

While a myriad of practical proposals have been aired in the public sector, this conference emerges from the conviction that more fundamental theological questions lie at the heart of the concern for our care of the earth, questions which the Catholic intellectual tradition is uniquely equipped to address: What is responsible stewardship? What is the meaning, value and destiny of created goods? How does one situate the dignity of the human person vis a vis created things? And are there distinctive Catholic features to any authentic response?

The aim of the conference is to consider the significance of grasping anew the Catholic theological and philosophical principles which may be drawn upon to illuminate the problem o f the environment. We invite papers that bring the wisdom of our own intellectual heritage, especially that of St. Thomas Aquinas, to articulate an adequate vision of responsible stewardship, one that is coherent, meaningful and faithful.

The conference will be held at the St. Paul Seminary School of Divinity in St. Paul, Minnesota. Paper proposals should be sent to Dr. Deborah Savage at pdsavage@stthomas.edu by June 1, 2009.

As the announcement indicates, there is a certain forefronting of the doctrine of Aquinas. The conference’s website is here.


Mark Johnson

Mark Johnson is an associate professor of Theology at Marquette University, and founded thomistica.net on Squarespace in November of 2004. He studied with James Weisheipl, Leonard Boyle, Walter Principe, and Lawrence Dewan, at the Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies (Toronto, Canada).